Last update: 27 July 2020
6 min read

AFM Regulation for Forex in the Netherlands

If you’re planning on trading forex in Holland, you’ll want to find yourself an AFM regulated broker. Forex trading was originally met with some skepticism in the Netherlands, but all the best brokers regulated by AFM have now gained acceptance.

The organization in charge of regulating financial markets and brokers in Holland is the Autoriteit Financiële Markten or AFM. The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) recognizes Forex as a legal way to invest and issues licenses for local brokers as well as offshore companies that wish to offer services to Dutch Forex traders.

We’ve collated a list of the best brokers in Holland using advice from industry experts with decades of experience. Our objective, systematic analysis of brokers allows us to rate websites around the world – and give you the findings in a neat, easy-to-read table. Check out the list below to start trading with a top-quality AFM regulated broker today.

If you can’t find many AFM regulated brokers, try some of the best CySEC regulated brokers:

  • Hot Forex
  • XTB
  • HYCM
  • XM
  • Plus500
  • FXTM

Best and most trusted forex brokers in April 2024

How are brokers in Holland regulated and how do they protect you?

Autoriteit Financiële Markten logo

The AFM keeps a list of all AFM regulated brokers – from the best to the worst – which includes the names and details of all investment brokerage firms. It is a simple list to access for anyone looking for licensed brokers in the Netherlands. There is a search option that can be used to confirm whether a broker is regulated and you’ll be pleased to know there are a number of AFM Forex brokers to choose from.

The AFM requires licensed firms to comply with certain financial reporting requirements which demand reports on a regular basis. The reports must include information on certain aspects of the business, including trading data and trading volume. Even the best AFM Forex broker could face sanctions, warnings, withdrawal or cancellation of the license, fines, and even criminal prosecution if it fails to comply with the rules.

Offshore brokers must establish local branches complete with AFM licenses. This has to be done before the offshore company is able to offer services to traders in Holland.

An introduction to the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets

In the Netherlands, it is known as the Autoriteit Financiële Markten, but outside of the country it is better known as the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets. It was established in 2002 and took over the responsibilities of the Securities Board of the Netherlands.

The legislation passed which created the Authority also served to increase its responsibilities. This meant all financial products were added to its remit including accounting, insurance, loans, savings, and investments. The Minister of Finance is politically responsible for the AFM, but it is an autonomous organization. In other words, it is able to act alone.

Main responsibilities and guidelines of the AFM

The aims of the AFM are:

  • To make financial markets more accessible for everyone
  • To promote confidence in the financial markets
  • To allow for the smooth operation of all participants in the financial markets as well as the markets themselves
  • To help provide the best AFM regulated brokers possible

The AFM has close ties with international organizations

As a member of the Committee of European Securities Regulators, the AFM actively contributes to harmonizing financial regulation in Europe. And, as a participant in the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), it helps to bring together securities regulators from more than 80 different territories including Russia and the United Kingdom. It is also an active participant in the Euronext stock exchange. Not sure what that is? Read on to find out.

What is Euronext?

Euronext NV is a European stock exchange which is seated in London, Lisbon, Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. It provides a number of different services including market solutions, custody and settlement services, and a range of available products. This covers exchange-traded funds, equities, certificates and warrants, derivatives, commodities, indices, and bonds.

What you can do if you are unhappy with your AFM regulated broker

There are a number of avenues you can explore if you are unhappy with the services of your AFM regulated broker.
Step 1 – Write a letter of complaint to the AFM licensed broker explaining the problem, and send a copy to the AFM. AFM rules and regulations include the requirement for a licensed entity to have a complaints procedure in place. You should be able to find individual procedures in the general conditions or the contract of the financial product. If you aren’t satisfied with the offered resolution the next step is to contact Kifid.
Step 2 – If you are unhappy with the providers answer you can write a letter to the Financial Complaints Tribunal (Kifid). There are other disputes agencies in the Netherlands, but Kifid is the only one recognized by the Minister of Finance. Kifid is made up of the Financial Services Ombudsman and the Financial Services Disputes Committee. The Ombudsman will first try to mediate, which is a free service. But should the judgment be unsatisfactory it is possible to apply to the Disputes Committee for its decision. This service will cost €50.
Step 3 – If the Complaints Tribunal is unable to handle your complaint you have the option of applying to the courts.
Step 4 – Your final option is to contact the AFM’s Financial Markets Information Line. The AFM is able to instigate an investigation if a financial undertaking has broken AFM rules. If required it will liaise with the undertaking, revoke its license or impose a fine. The AFM isn’t able to mediate on your behalf or determine whether your complaint is well-founded. Kifid or the courts are where you should go if this is what you require. The AFM will not inform you whether an investigation will be conducted but it will inform you if your complaint leads to a publication.

How to check for AFM regulation

You should always consider a regulated broker as your partner because it will offer you more protection and a much fairer trading environment than an unregulated broker. For those of you looking to trade Forex in the Netherlands, choose a broker holding an AFM license.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the broker’s homepage
  • Check the footer of the page for the regulation information
  • If you can’t find anything, look for an ‘About Us’ page
  • Once you’ve located a license number, match it up with the information found on the AFM website to confirm it’s legitimate

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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